A tracker tasked with following Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt was arrested Tuesday for assaulting the candidate’s female campaign manager following a campaign event in Las Vegas.
Mike Stark, a veteran tracker for David Brock’s American Bridge 21st Century super PAC, forced his way into a room where Laxalt, the Nevada attorney general, was meeting with campaign manager Kristin Davidson and two other staffers.
“I could not move,” Davidson said in her statement to police, obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “Stark grabbed my right arm, twisted it behind my back, squeezed it very hard, and every time I tried to pull away he pulled me closer and gripped my arm tighter.”
“I kept screaming help me, stop hurting me, you are hurting me,” she wrote. “Stark would not stop and grabbed my arm tighter and pulled me closer to him and the door. I was terrified and at that point saw multiple colleagues try to pull him off me but Stark held tighter.”
Stark has been arrested on numerous prior occasions for his work as a tracker, including earlier this year when he allegedly assaulted interior secretary Ryan Zinke’s female press secretary. He was also arrested last year for disorderly conduct in connection with his surveillance of then-GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.
“We’re used to trackers, but this guy was very physical—pushing me, pushing into members of my staff, screaming,” Davison told Fox News. “This man was physically, almost body-checking me. I was getting nervous for my safety, so we left, and went into an open room.”
Two Republican candidates for the Minnesota state legislature were assaulted in recent days in separate incidents.
Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm while confronting a man who was destroying yard signs promoting Republican candidates. Shane Mekeland, a first-time Republican candidate for the state legislature, suffered a concussion over the weekend after he was sucker punched while meeting with constituents at a local restaurant.
Prominent Republicans have cautioned their Democratic colleagues in recent days against continuing to employ inflammatory political rhetoric, suggesting it may lead to violence.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has described the Democrats as the party of “mob rule” ahead of the midterm elections and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky expressed concern earlier this month that the charged rhetoric would lead to another assassination attempt like the one visited on Representative Steve Scalise (R., La.) last year.